Purchased originally for a Tuscan beef stew recipe that called for an entire bottle of Chianti, I must admit that I bought this bottle specifically for the “Fiasco” or “Fiaschi”…because it reminds me of our honeymoon trip to Italy and romantic days spent exploring the Tuscan countryside. Even though I’ve seen more of them holding candles or decorating Italian restaurants here in the U.S. than I did in Florence, these rustic bottles have a rich history and artistic iconography, depicted in paintings since the time of Botticelli. Dating back to the 14th century, Fiaschi were hand-woven baskets used for holding Chianti bottles. The baskets were made from straw and reeds to protect the thin glass bottles during transportation and handling.
It was only a $5 bottle of wine, but I just couldn’t imagine tossing or recycling the bottle, so I decided to keep it and find a new use for it. Here’s a quick way to repurpose those charming straw-covered Chianti bottles. Besides waiting for the paint to dry completely, this only took 15 minutes. With a little chalkboard paint over the labels, and the neck and bottom of the flask dipped into any desired paint color, a collection of these bottles would make simple centerpieces/vases/table numbers for a rustic themed wedding or casual dinner party.